Istanbul's children get their first taste of freedom

Children play at Ortakoy Square in Istanbul, Turkey on May 13, 2020.Stuck inside for weeks, Turkey's children are venturing outside again.

Turkey was quick to announce age restrictions, starting on March 21 with an order for over 65s to stay indoors. On April 3, restrictions widened, with everyone under 20 also told to stay at home.

A child feeds pigeons at Tunali Hilmi Street in Ankara, Turkey on May 13, 2020.Schools, universities and workplaces were closed across the country and curfews were imposed to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

This week, children under 14 were allowed out for a short time, with the government giving permission for young people to leave the house between 11am and 3pm. Despite strict guidelines: maintaining social distancing and staying near their homes, the experience was relished by many, as evidenced by these pictures, which show the sheer joy as these children enjoyed a taste of freedom for the first time in weeks.

Children play at Macka Democracy Park in Istanbul, Turkey on May 13, 2020.Last week Turkey's restrictions on workplaces and public spaces eased, and shopping malls, barbers and salons were opened across the country after an almost two-month closure.

On Sunday, Turkey's over 65s, who are most vulnerable to suffering adverse effects from the virus, had their first chance to venture out in seven weeks.

Children ride bikes at Baris Park in Edirne, Turkey on May 13, 2020.However, Turkey's 24 cities and provinces will stay closed for travel by land, air and sea, except for transporting essential goods. However, some centres are beginning to open for domestic tourism.

The easing of restrictions came as the death toll and numbers of new cases eased in the country. So far, Turkey has registered 4000 deaths, and 144,000 infections.

Children enjoy outdoor time at Ataturk Kent Square in Aydin, Turkey on May 13, 2020.


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